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Empire of the Senseless

Kathy Acker

Written by the author of "Blood and Guts in High School", this novel is set in a less-than-distant future against backcloths that range from the Bowery to Algeria and a Paris where the wretched of the earth have seized power over a bleak new world.

The Ghost in the Shell: Five New Short Stories

Toh EnJoe
Tow Ubukata
Gakuto Mikumo
Kafka Asagiri
Yoshinobu Akita

Neither a utopia nor a dystopia, it's still a world of nations at strife, as dominated by corporations as ever. Technology hasn't made humans nearly obsolete, but rather bettered us, if you will, attaching to our bodies and even brains as enhancements--for those who can afford it.

Comics artist Shirow Masamune's vision of our coming society, animated to global acclaim and finally the basis of a major Hollywood production, branches out in five original stories by some of the most beloved SF novelists working in Japan today. A standalone collection, it requires no familiarity with the franchise to be enjoyed but is indispensable for fans for its thoughtful exploration of the series' implications.

While reality may never become virtual, it will be increasingly networked and augmented. Navigate herein age-old questions about man that will return, not so ironically, in full force: What is the self? Is there such a thing as the soul?

Company Town

Madeline Ashby

They call it Company Town--a Family-owned city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes.

Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she's an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she's been charged with training the Family's youngest, who has been receiving death threats--seemingly from another timeline.

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability--serial killer? Or something much, much worse...

Headcrash

Bruce Bethke

A Junior Engineer for Monolithic Diversified Enterprises, Jack Burroughs finds himself caught in a tangled cyberweb of corporate double-dealing and virtual espionage. And when he's forced to put his life on-line, it becomes apparent that his grip on (virtual) reality is by no means secure.

Moxyland

Lauren Beukes

A frighteningly persuasive, high-tech fable, this novel follows the lives of four narrators living in an alternative futuristic Cape Town, South Africa.

Kendra, an art-school dropout, brands herself for a nanotech marketing program; Lerato, an ambitious AIDS baby, plots to defect from her corporate employers; Tendeka, a hot-headed activist, is becoming increasingly rabid; and Toby, a roguish blogger, discovers that the video games he plays for cash are much more than they seem.

On a collision course that will rewire their lives, this story crackles with bold and infectious ideas, connecting a ruthless corporate-apartheid government with video games, biotech attack dogs, slippery online identities, a township soccer school, shocking cell phones, addictive branding, and genetically modified art. Taking hedonistic trends in society to their ultimate conclusions, this tale paints anything but a forecasted utopia, satirically undermining the reified idea of progress as society's white knight.

The Shockwave Rider

John Brunner

He Was The Most Dangerous Fugitive Alive, But He Didn't Exist!

Nickie Haflinger had lived a score of lifetimes...but technically he didn't exist. He was a fugitive from Tarnover, the high-powered government think tank that had educated him. First he had broken his identity code -- then he escaped.

Now he had to find a way to restore sanity and personal freedom to the computerized masses and to save a world tottering on the brink of disaster.

He didn't care how he did it...but the government did. That's when his Tarnover teachers got him back in their labs...and Nickie Haflinger was set up for a whole new education!

Fools

Pat Cadigan

With brain-suckers and body-snatchers around, not even your own identity is safe. When Marva, a Method actress, wakes up in a hologram pool in a club with new clothes, lots of money and a memory of murder, she knows something is wrong.

Synners

Pat Cadigan

First published in 1991, this cyberpunk classic won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and was shortlisted for the Nebula Award

Synners are synthesizers--not machines, but people. They take images from the brains of performers, and turn them into a form which can be packaged, sold, and consumed. This book is set in a world where new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets. The line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with reality is incidental. This classic novel from one of the founders and mainstays of the cyberpunk movement.

Mainline

Deborah Christian

Bystanders, beware: Reva the assassin always gets her man, and anyone caught in the crossfire won't live to tell about it. Reva has the unique ability to see different lines of causality spread out before her. When she chooses any one of them, the other possibilities fade into nothingness and the new reality becomes her Mainline.

Upgraded

Neil Clarke

Better... Stronger... Faster... The doctors rebuilt Hugo Award-winning editor Neil Clarke and made him a cyborg. Now he has assembled this anthology of twenty-six original cyborg stories by Greg Egan, Madeline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, Peter Watts, Ken Liu, Robert Reed, Yoon Ha Lee, and more!

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (Upgraded) - essay by Neil Clarke
  • Always the Harvest - shortstory by Yoon Ha Lee
  • A Cold Heart - shortstory by Tobias S. Buckell
  • The Sarcophagus - shortstory by Robert Reed
  • Oil of Angels - shortstory by Chen Qiufan
  • What I've Seen with Your Eyes - shortstory by Jason K. Chapman
  • No Place to Dream, But a Place to Die - shortstory by Elizabeth Bear
  • Married - shortstory by Helena Bell
  • Come from Away [Company Town] - shortstory by Madeline Ashby
  • Negative Space - shortstory by Amanda Forrest
  • Fusion - shortstory by Greg Mellor
  • Taking the Ghost - shortstory by A. C. Wise
  • Honeycomb Girls - shortstory by Erin Cashier
  • The Regular - novelette by Ken Liu
  • Tender - shortstory by Rachel Swirsky
  • Tongtong's Summer - shortstory by Xia Jia
  • Musée de l'Âme Seule - shortstory by E. Lily Yu
  • Wizard, Cabalist, Ascendant - shortstory by Seth Dickinson
  • Memories and Wire - shortstory by Mari Ness
  • God Decay - shortstory by Rich Larson
  • Small Medicine - shortstory by Genevieve Valentine
  • Mercury in Retrograde - shortstory by Erin Hoffman
  • Coastlines of the Stars - shortstory by Alex Dally MacFarlane
  • The Cumulative Effects of Light Over Time - shortstory by E. Catherine Tobler
  • Synecdoche Oracles - shortstory by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
  • Collateral - novelette by Peter Watts
  • Seventh Sight - shortstory by Greg Egan

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune-and remarkable power-to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved-that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt-among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life-and love-in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.

A quest for the ultimate prize.

Tron: A Novel

Brian Daley

Denied Acces to a program he created, computer expert Alan Bradley seeks out Flynn, a video game virtuoso who is the only man cleaver enough to outwit the powerful Master Control Program

Flynn's effeorts are in vain. The Master Control Program shoots him into an incredible electron world, where computer programs are the alter-egos of their programmers, and where video games are battles of life and death.

It is here that Flynn finds TRON, the alter-ego of Alan Bradley and the only program who can overthrow the Master Control. The video wizard and the electronic program join forces in a battle to decide whether man or machine will control the system.

Svaha

Charles de Lint

Out beyond the Enclaves, in the desolation between the cities, an Indian flyer has been downed. A chip encoded with vital secrets is missing. Only Gahzee can venture forth to find it--walking the line between the Dreamtime and the Realtime, bringing his people's ancient magic to bear on the poisoned world of tomorrow.

Bringing hope, perhaps, for a new dawn...

A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D - which Arctor takes in massive doses - gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.

Caustically funny, eerily accurate in its depiction of junkies, scam artists, and the walking brain-dead, Philip K. Dick's industrial-grade stress test of identity is as unnerving as it is enthralling.

Runtime

S. B. Divya

The Minerva Sierra Challenge is a grueling spectacle, the cyborg's Tour de France. Rich thrill-seekers with corporate sponsorships, extensive support teams, and top-of-the-line exoskeletal and internal augmentations pit themselves against the elements in a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada.

Marmeg Guinto doesn't have funding, and she doesn't have support. She cobbled her gear together from parts she found in rich people's garbage and spent the money her mother wanted her to use for nursing school to enter the race. But the Minerva Challenge is the only chance she has at a better life for herself and her younger brothers, and she's ready to risk it all.

Runtime is S. B. Divya's exciting science fiction debut.

Eastern Standard Tribe

Cory Doctorow

Art is a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, a secret society bound together by a sleep schedule. Around the world, those who wake and sleep on East Coast time find common cause with one another, cooperating, conspiring, to help each other out, coordinated by a global network of Wi-Fi, instant messaging, ubiquitous computing, and a shared love of Manhattan-style bagels.

Or perhaps not. Art is, after all, in the nuthouse. He was put there by a conspiracy of his friends and loved ones, fellow travelers from EST hidden in the bowels of Greenwich Mean Time, spies masquerading as management consultants who strive to mire Europe in oatmeal-thick bureaucracy.

Eastern Standard Tribe is a story of madness and betrayal, of society after the End of Geography, of the intangible factors that define us as a species, as a tribe, as individuals. Scathing, bitter, and funny, EST examines the immutable truths of time, of sunrise and sunset of societies smashed and rebuilt in the storm of instant, ubiquitous communication.

Download this book for free from the author's website.

Pirate Cinema

Cory Doctorow

Trent McCauley is sixteen, brilliant, and obsessed with one thing: making movies on his computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads from the net. In the dystopian near-future Britain where Trent is growing up, this is more illegal than ever; the punishment for being caught three times is that your entire household’s access to the internet is cut off for a year, with no appeal.

Trent's too clever for that too happen. Except it does, and it nearly destroys his family. Shamed and shattered, Trent runs away to London, where he slowly he learns the ways of staying alive on the streets. This brings him in touch with a demimonde of artists and activists who are trying to fight a new bill that will criminalize even more harmless internet creativity, making felons of millions of British citizens at a stroke.

Things look bad. Parliament is in power of a few wealthy media conglomerates. But the powers-that-be haven’t entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people’s minds...

Download this book for free from the author's website.

Approaching Oblivion

Harlan Ellison

The New York Times called him "relentlessly honest" and then used him as the subject of its famous Sunday Acrostic. People Magizine said there was no one like him, then cursed him for preventing easy sleep.

But in these stories Harlan Ellison outdoes himself, rampaging like a mad thing through love ("Cold Friend", "Kiss of Fire", "Paulie Charmed the Sleeping Woman"), hate ("Knox", "Silent in Gehenna"), sex ("Catman", "Erotophobia"), lost childhood ("One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty") and into such bizarre subjects as the problems of blue-skinned, eleven-armed Yiddish aliens, what it's like to witness the end of the world and what happens on the day the planet Earth swallows Barbra Streisand.

Oh yeah, this one's a doozy!

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword: Approaching Ellison - (1974) - essay by Michael Crichton
  • Introduction: Reaping the Whirlwind - (1974) - essay
  • One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty - (1970)
  • Knox - (1974)
  • Cold Friend - (1973)
  • Kiss of Fire - (1973)
  • Paulie Charmed the Sleeping Woman - (1962)
  • I'm Looking for Kadak - (1974)
  • Silent in Gehenna - (1971)
  • Erotophobia - (1971)
  • Ecowareness - (1974)
  • Catman - (1974)
  • Hindsight: 480 Seconds - (1973)

Solitaire

Kelley Eskridge

Ren "Jackal" Segura is a Hope -- a special child, a powerful symbol of a new world government destined for greatness. But two months before she is to assume the role she has been preparing for her entire life, Jackal discovers that everything she believes, everything she is, is a lie. Convicted of a terrible crime, she agrees to participate in a "rehabilitation" experiment: While her body lies comatose for eight months, a computer will convince her mind that she is spending eight long years in solitary confinement. But Jackal's history as a Hope has given her strengths and skills other prisoners lack -- powers she will need to endure the tormenting loneliness, to discover the truth about her betrayal, and to rediscover her life, her love, and her soul in a strange place of shattered hopes and new beginnings called Solitaire.

The Mocking Program

Alan Dean Foster

Inspector Angel Cardenas has seen murdered corpses like George Anderson's, but never a case like this. The victim's ID doesn't match his DNA, Anderson's wife and preteen daughter, Katla, are missing, their home has been turned into a time bomb-and mobs from three continents are all hunting Katla. Relying on his training as a nearly telepathic intuit, Cardenas embarks on a search for clues that leads him from the Strip's sex parlors and stimstick clubs, where kids are deadly and music can kill, to an undersea hideout where computer crimes are committed by criminal computers. Yet the closer Cardenas gets to the girl, the closer assassins are getting to them both...

The Cultural Influences of William Gibson: Critical and Interpretive Essays

William Gibson
Carl B. Yoke
Carol L. Robinson

The Cultural Influences of William Gibson, the "Father" of Cyberpunk Science Fiction: Critical and Interpretive Essays

William Gibson (b 1948), since the publication of his first, award-winning novel, "Neuromancer" (1984), has been celebrated as a breath of fresh air in the realm of science fiction. This anthology of essays is an attempt to analyze Gibsons literary technique, his sustained critique of emerging technologies, and the way in which fiction writing in general is continually categorized and canonized in the Postmodern Age.

"Gibson has deserved this kind of concentrated attention for some time, and readers of The Cultural Influences of William Gibson will come away with a better understanding of how he has helped shape the concerns and style of modern science fiction." - Dr. Joe Sanders Professor Emeritus of English Lakeland Community College

"Overall, this collection forcibly argues that Gibson's work is focused, not on the dystopian futures that are frequently its settings, but on the anxieties and neuroses of the present - often represented through these fictitious futures as being the products of a society that has no real values and, more specifically, of the dehumanization that may result not only from a generally sick society but also from our individual and collective relationships to emerging technologies that are also very much with us already; thus, Gibson's fiction is presented here as being both cautionary and ironically conservative." - Dr. Donald Palumbo Professor of English East Carolina University

William Gibson: A Literary Companion

Tom Henthorne
William Gibson

William Gibson, author of the cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer (1984), is one today's most widely read science fiction writers. This companion is meant both for general readers and for scholars interested in Gibson's oeuvre. In addition to providing a literary and cultural context for works ranging from Gibson's first short story, "Fragments of a Hologram Rose" (1977), to his recent, bestselling novel, Zero History (2010), the companion offers commentary on Gibson's subjects, themes, and approaches. It also surveys existing scholarship on Gibson's work in an accessible way and provides an extensive bibliography to facilitate further study of William Gibson's writing, influence, and place in the history of science fiction and in literature as a whole.

Burning Chrome (collection)

William Gibson

Best-known for his seminal sf novel Neuromancer, William Gibson is actually best when writing short fiction. Tautly-written and suspenseful, Burning Chrome collects 10 of his best short stories with a preface from Bruce Sterling, now available for the first time in trade paperback. These brilliant, high-resolution stories show Gibson's characters and intensely-realized worlds at his absolute best, from the chip-enhanced couriers of "Johnny Mnemonic" to the street-tech melancholy of "Burning Chrome."

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - essay by Bruce Sterling
  • Johnny Mnemonic - (1981) - shortstory
  • The Gernsback Continuum - (1981) - shortstory
  • Fragments of a Hologram Rose - (1977) - shortstory
  • The Belonging Kind - (1981) - shortstory by John Shirley and William Gibson
  • Hinterlands - (1981) - shortstory
  • Red Star, Winter Orbit - (1983) - novelette by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
  • New Rose Hotel - (1984) - shortstory
  • The Winter Market - (1985) - novelette
  • Dogfight - (1985) - novelette by Michael Swanwick and William Gibson
  • Burning Chrome - (1982) - novelette

Johnny Mnemonic

William Gibson

Johnny Mnemonic is based on a story published in Gibson's collection of short fiction, Burning Chrome. Fans will have the opportunity to see Gibson's imagination morph from short story to screenplay. In this special trade edition, which includes both the screenplay for the film, starring Keanu Reeves, and the original short story, Gibson fans will be allowed a rare glimpse at the evolution of the creative process.

Johnny Mnemonic takes readers into William Gibson's dark, slick cities of the future. Johnny is a 21st-Century smuggler. Data is his contraband. And he's got plenty of it. In fact, he has way too much. Caught in a situation he could not easily get out of, Johnny over-loads the computer-chip in his head. The data is white-hot and he has twenty-four hours to down-load or else he's fried. As he rushes to his destination, he realizes that an army of Yakuza killers is on his trail; they want the data he possesses--and they are willing to take his head to get it. In a non-stop, action-packed race against the time-bomb in his brain, Johnny's only allies are a cybernetic dolphin and a gorgeous girl streetfighter with a hardwired taste for violence.

Johnny Mnemonic (short story)

William Gibson

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Omni, May 1981. The story can also be found in the anthologies Nebula Award Stories Seventeen (1983), edited by Joe Haldeman, The Second Omni Book of Science Fiction (1984), edited by Ellen Datlow, and The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF (1994), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer as well as the collections Burning Chrome (1986), and Johnny Mnemonic (1995).

Headlong

Simon Ings

Surgically connected to their swarm of mechanical workers, architects Christopher and Joanne Yale were turning the moon into a paradise. Now, without warning, their machines have pulled the plug.

Christopher Yale is drowning in a sea of sensory deprivation and bootleg medicine. Joanne is dead, and neither the police nor their friends have any explanation. But Yale knows she was plugging pirated hardware into her head, to fight the same condition he has - Epistemic Appetite Imbalance.

Confronting his loss and his new, empty-headed world, Yale seeks out the truth of Joanne's death, all the while being drawn into a new, colder London which has no place for the Moon's failures. He hasn't got much time. The police are after him, so are his wife's killers -- and so is the condition which is slowly draining his life of meaning...

Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriot

Project Itoh

Solid Snake is a soldier and part of a worldwide nanotechnology network known as the Sons of the Patriots. Time is running out for Snake though, as he will soon succumb to the FOXDIE virus, but not before spreading the disease to nearly everyone he encounters, in essence becoming a walking biological weapon. Snake will need every advantage he can get, as the SOP network is about to be hacked by his old enemy Liquid Ocelot, and whoever controls SOP controls the world.

Interface

Neal Stephenson
George F. Jewsbury

A near-future thriller in which a shadowy coalition bent on controlling the world economy attempts to manipulate the president of the United States through the use of a computer bio-chip implanted in his brain.

Stephen Bury is a collective pseudonym for authors Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George.

The Regular

Ken Liu

Nebula-nominated Novella

"The Regular" by Ken Liu seamlessly blends futuristic technology into detective noir. It shares the tropes of the typical pulpish P.I. novel; the main character has a shattered family and a contentious relationship with law enforcement. It's also got one of the most interesting speculative elements in the book; while most of the stories deal with replaced limbs and body systems and such -- what we tend to visualize when we think "cyborg" -- one of several available "upgrades" in this story is a Regulator, which stabilizes adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin for optimal emotional performance. It's dependence on this device that puts a twist on the typical P.I. addiction narrative, and it's the ocean of grief that threatens to overwhelm detective Ruth that gives her the wisdom to overcome desperate odds when all the electronic advancements on Earth can't help her.
(synopsis by The Skiffy and Fanty Show)


Read this story online for free at Neil Clarke's Forever magazine (mobi or epub).

Fairyland

Paul J. McAuley

Before he met the brilliant, hypnotic child Milena, Alex Sharkey had never played with "dolls"--blue-skinned, gengineered lifeforms designed for work, amusement, or destruction. But the underground gene-hacker is seduced by a megalomaniacal little girl's dream of providing the soulless genetic constructs with free thought and a future-and he unwittingly unleashes a plague of madness on the world. Now there's a void in his life and memory that must be refilled, but it means pursuing the dangerous sentient species he helped sire from the ruins of a Magic Kingdom through a wasted Europe. It is Alex Sharkey's last chance and the last hope remaining for a once-dominant human race.

The Dervish House

Ian McDonald

It begins with an explosion. Another day, another bus bomb. Everyone it seems is after a piece of Turkey. But the shockwaves from this random act of 21st century pandemic terrorism will ripple further and resonate louder than just Enginsoy Square.

Welcome to the world of The Dervish House; the great, ancient, paradoxical city of Istanbul, divided like a human brain, in the great, ancient, equally paradoxical nation of Turkey. The year is 2027 and Turkey is about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its accession to the European Union; a Europe that now runs from the Arran Islands to Ararat. Population pushing one hundred million, Istanbul swollen to fifteen million; Turkey is the largest, most populous and most diverse nation in the EU, but also one of the poorest and most socially divided. It's a boom economy, the sweatshop of Europe, the bazaar of central Asia, the key to the immense gas wealth of Russia and Central Asia.

Gas is power. But it's power at a price, and that price is emissions permits. This is the age of carbon consciousness: every individual in the EU has a card stipulating individual carbon allowance that must be produced at every CO2 generating transaction. For those who can master the game, who can make the trades between gas price and carbon trading permits, who can play the power factions against each other, there are fortunes to be made. The old Byzantine politics are back. They never went away.

The ancient power struggled between Sunni and Shia threatens like a storm: Ankara has watched the Middle East emerge from twenty-five years of sectarian conflict. So far it has stayed aloof. A populist Prime Minister has called a referendum on EU membership. Tensions run high. The army watches, hand on holster. And a Galatasary Champions' League football game against Arsenal stokes passions even higher.

The Dervish House is seven days, six characters, three interconnected story strands, one central common core--the eponymous dervish house, a character in itself--that pins all these players together in a weave of intrigue, conflict, drama and a ticking clock of a thriller.

China Mountain Zhang

Maureen F. McHugh

'I am Zhang, alone with my light, and in that light I think for a moment that I am free.' Imagine a world: a sinocentric world where Chinese Marxism has vanquished the values of capitalism and Lenin is the prophet of choice. A cybernetic world where the new charioteers are flyers, human-powered kites dancing in the skies over New York in a brief grab at glory. A world where the opulence of Beijing marks a new cultural imperialism, as wealthy urbanites flirt with interactive death in illegal speakeasies, and where Arctic research stations and communes on Mars are haunted by their own fragile dangers.

A world of fear and hope, of global disaster and slow healing, where progress can only be found in the cracks of a crumbling hegemony. The world of Zhang. An anti-hero who's still finding his way, treading a path through a totalitarian order - a path that just might make a difference.

Black Man

Richard K. Morgan

Published in the US as Thirteen

One hundred years from now, and against all the odds, Earth has found a new stability; the political order has reached some sort of balance, and the new colony on Mars is growing. But the fraught years of the 21st century have left an uneasy legacy... Genetically engineered alpha males, designed to fight the century's wars have no wars to fight and are surplus to requirements. And a man bred and designed to fight is a dangerous man to have around in peacetime. Many of them have left for Mars but now one has come back and killed everyone else on the shuttle he returned in.

Only one man, a genengineered ex-soldier himself, can hunt him down and so begins a frenetic man-hunt and a battle survival. And a search for the truth about what was really done with the world's last soldiers.

BLACK MAN is an unstoppable SF thriller but it is also a novel about predjudice, about the ramifications of playing with our genetic blue-print. It is about our capacity for violence but more worrying, our capacity for deceit and corruption. This is another landmark of modern SF from one of its most exciting and commercial authors.

Revision

Andrea Phillips

Mira is a trust fund baby playing at making it on her own as a Brooklyn barista. When Benji, her tech startup boyfriend, dumps her out of the blue, she decides a little revenge vandalism is in order. Mira updates his entry on Verity, Benji's Wikipedia-style news aggregator, to say the two have become engaged. Hours later, he shows up at her place with an engagement ring. Chalk it up to coincidence, right?

Soon after, Benji's long-vanished co-founder Chandra shows up asking for Mira's help. She claims Verity can nudge unlikely events into really happening -- even change someone's mind. And Chandra insists that Verity -- and Mira's newly minted fiance -- can't be trusted.

He, She and It

Marge Piercy

Also published as "Body of Glass" outside the USA.

A novel set in the past, present and future when the world society has fallen apart and a new order is established. But even here, the Golems are needed - figures who protect the Jews persecuted yet again as they were in 17th century Prague and mid-20th century Europe.

Dark Future: Route 666

David Pringle

Table of Contents:

  • 5 - Route 666 - (1990) - novella by Kim Newman [as by Jack Yeovil ]
  • 59 - Kid Zero and Snake Eyes - (1990) - shortstory by Brian Stableford [as by Brian Craig ]
  • 73 - Ghost Town - (1990) - novelette by Neil Jones
  • 101 - Duel Control - (1990) - novelette by Myles Burnham
  • 127 - Thicker Than Water - (1990) - novelette by Brian Stableford [as by Brian Craig ]
  • 159 - Maverick Son - (1990) - novelette by Neil McIntosh
  • 183 - Four-Minute Warning - (1990) - novelette by Myles Burnham
  • 209 - Only in the Twilight - (1990) - novelette by Brian Stableford [as by Brian Craig ]
  • 231 - Uptown Girl - (1990) - novelette by William King

Trouble and Her Friends

Melissa Scott

India Carless, alias Trouble, managed to stay one step ahead of the feds until she retired from life as a hacker and settled down to run a small network for an artist’s co-op.

Now someone has stolen her pseudonym and begun to use it for criminal hacking. So Trouble returns. Once the fastest gun on the electronic frontier, she has been called out of retirement for one last fight. And it’s a killer.

Less than a hundred years from now, the forces of law and order crack down on the world of the internet. It is the closing of the frontier. The hip, noir adventurers who got by on wit, bravado, and drugs, who haunt the virtual worlds of the shadows of cyberspace are up against the edges of civilization. It’s time to adapt or die.

Immortality, Inc.

Robert Sheckley

2110 --- For a price, the Hereafter Corporation guaranteed life afer death --- but they couldn't promise what it would be like...

Cryptonomicon

Neal Stephenson

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse - mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy - is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Watrehouse and Detatchment 2702-commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy's fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.

Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse's crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a "data haven" in Southeast Asia - a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe's tough-as-nails grandaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi sumarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty...or to universal totalitarianism reborn.

Reamde

Neal Stephenson

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T'Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T'Rain's success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player's electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game's virtual universe-and Richard is at ground zero.

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison--a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about Infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous...you'll recognize it immediately.

The Diamond Age

Neal Stephenson

Decades into our future, a stone's throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, abrilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken therigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians. He's made anillicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young LadysIllustrated Primer Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild,stolen for Hackworth's own daughter, the Primer's purpose is to educateand raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its functionsuperbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into thewrong hands.

Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes--members of the poor, tribelessclass. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gangwaylay a certain neo-Victorian--John Percival Hackworth-- in the seamy streetsof their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer.

Following the discovery of his crime, Hackworth begins an odyssey of his own.Expelled from the neo-Victorian paradise, squeezed by agents of ProtocolEnforcement on one side and a Mandarin underworld crime lord on the other, hesearches for an elusive figure known as the Alchemist. His quest and Nell'swill ultimately lead them to another seeker whose fate is bound up with thePrimer-- a woman who holds the key to a vast, subversive informationnetwork that is destined to decode and reprogram the future of humanity.

Distraction

Bruce Sterling

From Bruce Sterling, bestselling author of Heavy Weather and Holy Fire, comes this startling, disturbing, and darkly comic vision of the future of America. It is the story of a once great nation coming apart at the seams while an unending spectacle of politics, science, sex, and corruption has everyone too busy to notice....

It's November 2044, an election year, and the state of the Union is a farce. The federal government is broke, cities are privately owned, the military is shaking down citizens in the streets, and Wyoming is on fire. The last place anyone expects to find an answer is the nation's capital.

Washington has become a circus and no one knows that better than Oscar Valparaiso. A master political spin doctor, Oscar has been in the background for years, doing his best to put the proper spin on anything that comes up. Now he wants to do something quite unusual in politics. He wants to make a difference. But Oscar has a skeleton in his closet: a grotesque and unspeakable scandal that haunts his personal life.

He has one unexpected ally: Dr. Greta Penninger. She is a gifted neurologist at the bleeding edge of the neural revolution. Together Oscar and Greta know the human mind inside and out. And they are about to use that knowledge to spread a very powerful message: that it's a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's an idea whose time has come...again. And once again so have its enemies: every technofanatic, government goon, and reactionary laptop assassin in America.

Like all revolutionaries, Oscar and Greta might not survive to change the world, but they're determined to put a new spin on it.

Islands in the Net

Bruce Sterling

In the high-tech twenty-first century, a family of "corporate associates" descends into an underworld of data pirates and bootleg biogenetics to discover the identity of new-order terrorists.

Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology

Bruce Sterling

With their hard-edged, street-wise prose, they created frighteningly probable futures of high-tech societies and low-life hustlers. Fans and critics call their world cyberpunk. Here is the definitive "cyberpunk" short fiction collection.

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - essay by Bruce Sterling
  • The Gernsback Continuum - (1981) - shortstory by William Gibson
  • Snake-Eyes - (1986) - shortstory by Tom Maddox
  • Rock On - (1984) - shortstory by Pat Cadigan
  • Tales of Houdini - (1981) - shortstory by Rudy Rucker
  • 400 Boys - (1983) - shortstory by Marc Laidlaw
  • Solstice - (1985) - novelette by James Patrick Kelly
  • Petra - (1982) - shortstory by Greg Bear
  • Till Human Voices Wake Us - (1984) - shortstory by Lewis Shiner
  • Freezone - (1985) - shortstory by John Shirley
  • Stone Lives - (1985) - novelette by Paul Di Filippo
  • Red Star, Winter Orbit - (1983) - novelette by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
  • Mozart in Mirrorshades - (1985) - shortstory by Bruce Sterling and Lewis Shiner

Schismatrix

Bruce Sterling

Against a background of self-contained space habitats, interplanetary conquest, and bioengineering, two former friends--separated by politics and the death of the woman they both loved--slowly stage elaborate revenge plots. Over the course of several centuries, the two embody the ideological and political conflicts between the Shapers and the Mechanists--the two primary groups of post-humans in Sterling's classic far-future epic.

Dreaming in Smoke

Tricia Sullivan

Kalypso Deed is a shotgun, riding the interface between the AI Ganesh and human scientists who solve problems through cyberassisted Dreams. But she's young and a little careless; she'd rather mix drinks and play jazz. Azamat Marcsson is a colorless statistician: middle-aged, boring, and obsessed with microorganisms. A first-class nonentity--until one of his Dreams implodes, taking Kalypso with it.

Now Ganesh is crashing, and nothing could be worse. For on the planet T'nane, it is the AI alone that keeps the colonists alive, eking out a grim existence in an environment inimical to human life. To save the colony, Kalypso must persuade Marcsson to finish the Dream that is destroying Ganesh. But Marcsson has gone mad, and T'nane itself has plans for them both that will alter their minds--and their world--forever.

Lethe

Tricia Sullivan

It is the year 2166. Eighty years have passed since the Gene Wars devastated the Earth, decimating the human population and giving rise to myriad new life-forms. Only planetwide rule by an oligarchy of once-human brains in permanent computer interface has allowed "pure" humans to survive. Now, among the dolphins of Australia, Jenae Kim stumbles on the information that could mean a new beginning for human civilization: information that the government is determined to keep secret - even if they have to kill her.

On the edge of the solar system, researcher Daire Morales falls through an interstellar gate and discovers an Edenic world to which refugee children from the Gene Wars escaped long ago - but at a terrible price. The onset of adulthood promises a monstrous fate, and now the colony's adolescent leader, Tsering, faces her own violent demise. Only when Jenae exposes the long-buried truth about the Gene Wars does Tsering realize that the memories trapped in the planet's strange, sentient trees have the power to save - or destroy - not only the colony but the hope of humanity itself.

Maul

Tricia Sullivan

In a mall like any other, two gangs of teenaged girls are about to embark on an orgy of shopping and designer violence. In the battleground of cool, they'll fight for their lives to prove that "image is everything." And in another place, within a sealed room, a lone man fights an equally desperate war against a new virus and the scientists who have developed it. If anyone gets out alive, it will be a small miracle.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Thomas Sweterlitsch

Yesterday cannot last forever...

A decade has passed since the city of Pittsburgh was reduced to ash.

While the rest of the world has moved on, losing itself in the noise of a media-glutted future, survivor John Dominic Blaxton remains obsessed with the past. Grieving for his wife and unborn child who perished in the blast, Dominic relives his lost life by immersing in the Archive—a fully interactive digital reconstruction of Pittsburgh, accessible to anyone who wants to visit the places they remember and the people they loved.

Dominic investigates deaths recorded in the Archive to help close cases long since grown cold, but when he discovers glitches in the code surrounding a crime scene—the body of a beautiful woman abandoned in a muddy park that he's convinced someone tried to delete from the Archive—his cycle of grief is shattered.

With nothing left to lose, Dominic tracks the murder through a web of deceit that takes him from the darkest corners of the Archive to the ruins of the city itself, leading him into the heart of a nightmare more horrific than anything he could have imagined.

Rosewater

Tade Thompson

Between meeting a boy who bursts into flames, alien floaters that want to devour him, and a butterfly woman who he has sex with when he enters the xenosphere, Kaaro's life is far from the simple one he wants. But he left simple behind a long time ago when he was caught stealing and nearly killed by an angry mob. Now he works for a government agency called Section 45, and they want him to find a women known as Bicycle Girl. And that's just the beginning.

An alien entity lives beneath the ground, forming a biodome around which the city of Rosewater thrives. The cities of Rosewater are enamored by the dome, hoping for a chance to meet the beings within or possibly be invited to come in themselves. But Kaaro isn't so enamored. He was in the biodome at one point and decided to leave it behind. When something begins killing off other sensitives like himself, Kaaro defies Section 45 to search for an answer, facing his past and comes to a realization about a horrifying future.

Mardock Scramble

Tow Ubukata

A Future to Die For!

Why me?

It was to be the last thought a young prostitute, Balot, would ever have... as a human anyway. Taken in by a devious gambler named Shell, she became a slave to his cruel desires and would have been killed by his hand if not for a private investigator and his self-aware Universal Tool, Oefcoque. Now a cyborg, Balot has not only physical powers, but the ability to disrupt social environments. She chases after Shell, his partner-in-crime Boiled, and faces down a variety of insane villains in this pulse-pounding cyberpunk noir adventure.

The Memoirist

Neil Williamson

In a future dominated by omnipresent surveillance, why are so many powerful people determined to wipe a poignant gig by a faded rock star from the annals of history? What are they so afraid of?

When Rhian is hired to write the memoirs of Elodie Eagles, former singer with politically charged electro-rock band The HitMEBritneys, she has no idea of the dangerous path she is treading, nor the implications of her discoveries, which may well alter the course of human history...

Alif the Unseen

G. Willow Wilson

A tour-de-force of a debut that blends classic fantasy — the fascinating, frightening, sometimes-invisible world of the djinn — that's genies to some of us — with the 21st-century reality of a super-hacker in mortal danger in a repressive security state on the Arabian Gulf.

Alif (that's his handle) is a brilliant young superhacker working out of his mother's small apartment, and his computer has just been breached. While Alif scrambles to protect his clients — dissidents and outlaws alike, whoever needs to hide their digital traces, he and his friends realize that they've been found by 'the Hand' — maybe a person, maybe a program, but definitely able to find anyone, and that could lead to prison, or worse. Alif, with the help of his childhood friend Dina, an ancient book sent to him in secret by his lost love (who may be frighteningly connected to the Hand) and a terrifying protector who almost looks human, must go underground — or rather, find a way into the hidden world of the djinn. They wrote the mysterious book centuries ago, and have knowledge that might just allow Alif to infiltrate the most sophisticated information technology the world has ever seen, and perhaps save himself, his loved ones, and freedom itself. With shades of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, William Gibson, and the timeless Thousand and One Nights, Alif the Unseen is a tour-de-force debut with major potential — a masterful, addictive blend of the ancient and the more-than-modern, smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner.

Ghost in the Shell 2 - Innocence: After The Long Goodbye

Masaki Yamada

Part man, but mostly machine, Batou is the toughest son of a bitch employed by a mysterious agency known as Section 9. When terrorists come to town, Batou straps on a battery of high-tech weaponry and goes to work.

But even a hulking cyborg like Batou has a sensitive side. After all these years, he still mourns the loss of his partner, Maj. Motoko Kusanagi. And now his beloved basset hound Gabriel has mysteriously disappeared. To complicate matters even further, he's having reoccurring dreams about a son he never had. Combating violent insurgents is one thing; getting in touch with your feelings is totally different. Suddenly, Batou must grapple with the thing he understands the least: his own humanity!

Expanding on the concepts explored in the movie, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Masaki Yamada's novel also stands as a wholly original piece of work not tethered directly to any Ghost in the Shell continuity. Say hello to After The Long Goodbye--highly recommended for readers looking for science fiction with a soul.

Cyber Circus

Kim Lakin-Smith

Hellequin, last of the HawkEye military elite, is desperate to escape the legacy of Soul Food, the miraculous plant food that leeched the soil, destroyed his family, and instigated a bloody civil war. For a man awaiting the inevitable madness brought on by his enforced biomorph implant, there’s only one choice. Run away with the circus…

Drifting above a poisoned landscape, Cyber Circus and her exotic acrobats and bioengineered freaks bring a welcome splash of colour into folk’s drab lives. None more so than escaped courtesan turned-dancer Desirous Nim. When Nim’s freedom and her very life are threatened, Hellequin is forced to fight again. But, even united, will the weird troupe and their strange skills be enough to save Nim and keep their home aloft? That’s assuming, of course, that Zan City’s Blood Worms, mute stowaways, or the swarms don’t manage to bring them down first…

Welcome to the greatest show on Sore Earth!

The book also features: “Black Sunday” – a free-standing but associated novelette. A tale of desperation, incorporating drought, science, giant burrowing machines, rural magic, racial tension and sensuality in the 1930s Kansas dustbowl.

The Changeling Plague

Syne Mitchell

In the mid-21st century, all genetic experimentation has been outlawed. But when a desperate dying man takes an illegal gene therapy drug, he unleashes a worldwide plague that rewrites the DNA of everyone he encounters.

A Calculated Life

A Calculated Life: Book 1

Anne Charnock

Late in the twenty-first century, big business is booming and state institutions are thriving thanks to advances in genetic engineering, which have produced a compliant population free of addictions. Violent crime is a rarity.

Hyper-intelligent Jayna is a star performer at top predictive agency Mayhew McCline, where she forecasts economic and social trends. A brilliant mathematical modeler, she far outshines her co-workers, often correcting their work on the quiet. Her latest coup: finding a link between northeasterly winds and violent crime.

When a string of events contradicts her forecasts, Jayna suspects she needs more data and better intuition. She needs direct interactions with the rest of society. Bravely-and naively-she sets out to disrupt her strict routine and stumbles unwittingly into a world where her IQ is increasingly irrelevant…a place where human relationships and the complexity of life are difficult for her to decode. And as she experiments with taking risks, she crosses the line into corporate intrigue and disloyalty.

Can Jayna confront the question of what it means to live a "normal" life? Or has the possibility of a "normal" life already been eclipsed for everyone?

Android: Free Fall

Android: Book 1

William Keith, Jr.

It is the future, and while the world has changed, crime has not. When an influential lawyer is brutally murdered at the top of the Beanstalk, a towering exo-atmospheric elevator serving as Earth's hub of interplanetary trade, Detective Rick Harrison reluctantly accepts the case. Harrison's investigation soon leads him from the sprawling megapolis of New Angeles to the distant moon base of Heinlein, where he searches for clues amongst an uncooperative assortment of bioroids, clones, and disgruntled human laborers. But Harrison quickly finds himself at the center of an ever-deepening conspiracy, and is faced with the one question he never expected: What is the true definition of humanity?

Free Fall is the first novel based on Fantasy Flight Games's Android, conveying a dystopian world of technology and corruption. This rich universe is masterfully brought to life by a New York Times Bestselling author.

The Electric Church

Avery Cates: Book 1

Jeff Somers

In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans.

Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he's ever undertaken -- and it may well be his last.

Infomocracy

Centenal Cycle: Book 1

Malka Older

It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

redRobe

Cyber Noir: Book 4

Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Only two things stand between our world and financial meltdown

a silver monkey...

...and a talking gun

Axl Borja has agreed to do one last hit. His Excellency Cardinal Santo Ducque is facing political ruin if he can’t regain the Vatican’s missing billions. And Mai is a Japanese whore kidnapped and held hostage in a UN refugee zone.

As these three people collide - with each other and themselves - their actions mean the world and all its institutions must be changed. One thing is for sure. While Axl, Mai and the Cardinal can’t all get what they want, they might just get what they need.

Koko Takes a Holiday

EBK: Book 1

Kieran Shea

Five hundred years from now, ex-corporate mercenary Koko Martstellar is swaggering through an easy early retirement as a brothel owner on The Sixty Islands, a manufactured tropical resort archipelago known for its sex and simulated violence. Surrounded by slang-drooling boywhores and synthetic komodo dragons, Koko finds the most challenging part of her day might be deciding on her next drink. That is, until her old comrade Portia Delacompte sends a squad of security personnel to murder her.

Now Koko is on the run in the sky-barges of the Second Free Zone—dodging ruthless eye-eating bounty agents dispatched by Delacompte and falling in with Flynn, a depressed local cop readying his nerves for a sanctioned mass suicide known as Embrace. Can Koko and Flynn outfox her hunters until she can confront Delacompte?

Forever Peace

Forever War: Book 2

Joe Haldeman

In the year 2043, the Ngumi War rages. Limited nuclear strikes have been used on Atlanta and two enemy cities, but the war goes on, fought by 'soldierboys' -- indestructible war machines operated by remote control by soldiers hundreds of miles away.

Julian Class is one of these soldiers, and for him war is truly hell. The psychological strain of being jacked-in to his soldierboy -- and the genocidal results -- are becoming too much to bear. Now he and his companion, Dr Amelia Harding, have made a terrifying scientific discovery, which could literally take the universe back to square one. Except that for Julian, the discovery isn't so much terrifying as tempting....

Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex: The Lost Memory

GITS-SAC: Book 1

Junichi Fujisaku

Since being formed as a shadow peacekeeping organization, Section 9 has faced almost countless adversaries both in the real world and in cyberspace, but none like "The Awakened," a group of terrorists who seem to have the ability to take over the minds and bodies of almost anyone and use them to commit crimes against the state, leaving their pawns unaware of who was controlling them. When Major Motoko Kusanagi is able to capture one of the boys used as a pawn she hacks into his cyberbrain to find out who the ringleader is, but what she discovers will take her and the operatives of Section 9 on a journey deep into the heart of cyberspace, and the answers she finds will shake Section 9 to its core.

Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex: Revenge Of The Cold Machines

GITS-SAC: Book 2

Junichi Fujisaku

2030 Tokyo: While patrolling Tokyo's post-World War III refugee zones Togusa, the newest member of Section 9, discovers that one of the most powerful cyber-criminals his squad has ever faced has plans to kill their leader, Section 9 Chief Daisuke Aramaki, in one of three stories in this collection, and it will take all of the members of Section 9 to stop him. The action heats up in the stories "Double Targets," "First Love, Last Love" and "Revenge of the Cold Machines".

Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex: White Maze

GITS-SAC: Book 3

Junichi Fujisaku

The year is 2030. Advances in robotics and cyberbrain technology have transformed the world into a miraculous place where almost anything is possible - even the melding of humans and machines. In this not-too-distant future, the crimes of flesh and metal are investigated by Section 9, an elite counterterrorist squad headed by Chief Aramaki and his cyborg sidekick, Major Motoko Kusanagi. When dead bodies, drained of blood and with two bite marks on their necks, start turning up on the streets of Tokyo, it isn't long before the entire city is in a panic. As Major Kusanagi and the other members of Section 9 investigate the killings they begin to wonder - is the killer a real vampire or something much worse? In a dark world of murder, where cyberbrain hacks and treacherous conspiracies reach to the furthest heights of government, Section 9 is all that stands between the people and anarchy.

Mindstar Rising

Greg Mandel Trilogy: Book 1

Peter F. Hamilton

Greg Mandel, late of the Mindstar Battalion, has been many things in his life. Commando. Freedom fighter. Assassin. Now he's a freelance operative with a very special edge: telepathy.

In the high-tech, hard-edged world of computer crime, zero-gravity smuggling, and artificial intelligence, Greg Mandel is the man to call when things get rough. But when an elusive saboteur plagues a powerful organization known as Event Horizon, Mandel must cut his way through a maze of corporate intrigue and startling new scientific discoveries.

And nothing less than the future is at stake.

A Quantum Murder

Greg Mandel Trilogy: Book 2

Peter F. Hamilton

Professor Edward Kitchener, a double Nobel laureate researching quantum cosmology for the powerful Event Horizon conglomerate, has been savagely murdered. But was he the victim of industrial espionage, personal revenge, or a crime of passion by one of his handpicked team of live-wire students?

Event Horizon needs to know, and fast, so Greg Mandel, PSI-boosted veteran of the infamous Mindstar Battalion, must embark on an urgent investigation that ultimately leads him to an astounding confrontation with a past, which, according to the dead man's theories, might never have happened.

The Nano Flower

Greg Mandel Trilogy: Book 3

Peter F. Hamilton

Peter F. Hamilton is one the rising stars of science fiction in the nineties. His epic space adventure, The Reality Dysfunction, was a major international bestseller, while his near future thrillers, Mindstar Rising and A Quantum Murder, introduced an intriguing new hero in the character of Greg Mandel, a freelance operative whose telepathic abilities give him a crucial edge in the high tech world of the twenty-first century. Now Mandel returns in a spectacular new adventure that blows open the possibilities of the next century.

Julia Evans: billionairess, owner of Event Horizon, for fifteen years undisputed power behind the world's economic renaissance. And in trouble. With her computer-genius husband missing and rival companies suddenly claiming to have acquired a technology impossibly superior to anything on Earth, Julia has no time to notice an anonymously delivered flower. But this flower has genes millions of years in advance of terrestrial DNA.

Is it a cryptic alien message or a poignant farewell from her husband? Only Greg Mandel can discover its origin, but he is not alone in his desperate search. A vicious mercenary killer, a jade merchant, and a high-priced courtesan all have a part to play. It was never going to be easy, but as Greg and Julia discover, simply being first in the race isn't nearly good enough as the Nano Flower starts to bloom....

Halting State

Halting State: Book 1

Charles Stross

In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com startup company that's just been floated on the London stock exchange. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But she soon realizes that the virtual world may have a devastating effect in the real one-and that someone is about to launch an attack upon both...

Rule 34

Halting State: Book 2

Charles Stross

Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh is head of the Rule 34 Squad, monitoring the Internet to determine whether people are engaging in harmless fantasies or illegal activities. Three ex-con spammers have been murdered, and Liz must uncover the link between them before these homicides go viral.

Hardwired

Hardwired: Book 1

Walter Jon Williams

Earth lies prostrate beneath the lash of the Orbital powers, and Earth’s Balkanized nations have no choice but to let the Orbitals plunder their remaining wealth. Below the zone of Orbital control, buttonheads, panzerjocks, dirtgirls, and hustlers scramble for their ticket out of the gravity well.

But now, if the criminal underworld and the guerilla underground can join forces, there is a chance to shift the balance of power— in a war fought on the ground by hardwired commandos, in the air by high-flying deltajocks, and by genius hackers in the neural interface.

Voice of the Whirlwind

Hardwired: Book 2

Walter Jon Williams

Steward is a Beta — a clone. In his memories, he’s an elite commando for an orbital policorp — but because his Alpha never did a brain-scan update, Steward’s memories are fifteen years out of date... and in those fifteen years, everything has changed.

An interstellar war destroyed the company that held his allegiance. His wife has divorced him, along with the second wife that he can’t even remember. Most of his comrades died in a useless battle on a world called Sheol, and those who survived are irrevocably scarred. An alien race has arrived and become the center of a complex and deadly intrigue.

And someone has murdered him.

River of Gods

India 2047: Book 1

Ian McDonald

As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business: a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Ajthe waif, the mind reader, the prophet, when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.

In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.

River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and culturesone and a half billion people, twelve semi-independent nations, nine million gods. Ian McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.

Hammered

Jenny Casey: Book 1

Elizabeth Bear

Once Jenny Casey was somebody's daughter. Once she was somebody's enemy. Now the former Canadian special forces warrior lives on the hellish streets of Hartford, Connecticut, in the year 2062. Racked with pain, hiding from the government she served, running with a crime lord so she can save a life or two, Jenny is a month shy of fifty, and her artificially reconstructed body has started to unravel. But she is far from forgotten. A government scientist needs the perfect subject for a high-stakes project and has Jenny in his sights. Suddenly Jenny Casey is a pawn in a furious battle, waged in the corridors of the Internet, on the streets of battered cities, and in the complex wirings of her half-man-made nervous system. And she needs to gain control of the game before a brave new future spins completely out of control.

Killfile

John Smith: Book 1

Christopher Farnsworth

John Smith has a special gift that seems more like a curse: he can access other peoples thoughts. He hears the the songs stuck in their heads, their most private traumas and fears, the painful memories they can't let go. The CIA honed his skills until he was one of their most powerful operatives, but Smith fled the Agency and now works as a private consultant, trying to keep the dark potentials of his gift in check -- and himself out of trouble.

But now Smith is unexpectedly plunged into dangerous waters when his latest client, billionaire software genius Everett Sloan, hires him to investigate a former employee -- a tech whiz kid named Eli Preston -- and search his thoughts for some very valuable intellectual property he's stolen. Before John can probe Preston's mind, his identity is compromised and he's on a run for his life with Sloan's young associate, Kelsey.

Hunted by shadowy enemies with deep resources and unknown motives, John and Kelsey must go off the grid. John knows their only hope for survival is using his powers to their fullest -- even if means putting his own sanity at risk.

Flashmob

John Smith: Book 2

Christopher Farnsworth

As a fixer for America's one percent, John Smith cleans up the messes of those rich enough to afford him. But he's no ordinary gun for hire. Smith is a man of rare gifts, including the ability to read minds. Arriving at the wedding of Kira Sadeghi, a reality television celebrity he recently saved from kidnappers, Smith witnesses a group of gunmen open fire, hitting the bride and others. Though he's unarmed, Smith cripples one of the killers and is able to pry one word from his mind: "Downvote."

Eager to learn more, Smith hacks into the brain of an FBI agent investigating the attack to discover the Bureau has been investigating a nefarious new threat called "Downvote," an encrypted site on the "dark net" that lists the names of celebrities and offers a hefty bounty for anyone who can kill them--unleashing an anonymous and deadly flashmob with a keystroke.

Finding a mastermind on the internet is like trying to catch air--unless you're John Smith. Motivated by money and revenge, he traces a series of electronic signatures to a reclusive billionaire living at sea, accompanied by a scary-smart female bodyguard who becomes Smith's partner in his quest. The hunt for their prey will lead from Hong Kong to Reykjavik to a luxury gambling resort deep in the Laotian jungle. Yet always this criminal mastermind remains one step ahead.

The only way Downvote's creator can stop Smith is to kill him... because while this diabolical genius can run, there's no hiding from a man who can read minds.

Legion: Skin Deep

Legion: Book 2

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of the most significant fantasists to enter the field in a good many years. His ambitious, multi-volume epics ("Mistborn," "The Stormlight Archive") and his stellar continuation of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series have earned both critical acclaim and a substantial popular following. In "Legion," a short, distinctly contemporary novella filled with suspense, humor, and an endless flow of invention, Sanderson revealed a startling new facet of his singular narrative talent. In the stunning sequel, Legion: Skin Deep, that talent is on full display.

Stephen Leeds, AKA "Legion," is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the new story begins, Leeds and his "aspects" are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there's a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous...

What follows is a visionary thriller about the potential uses of technology, the mysteries of the human personality, and the ancient human need to believe that death is not the end. "Legion: Skin Deep" is speculative fiction at its most highly developed. It reaffirms Sanderson's place as one of contemporary fiction's most intelligent--and unpredictable--voices.

Little Brother

Little Brother: Book 1

Cory Doctorow

Marcus, a.k.a "w1n5t0n," is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

Download this book for free from the author's website.

Homeland

Little Brother: Book 2

Cory Doctorow

In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco-an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California's economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff-and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.

Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him-but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.

Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother -- a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.

Download this book for free from the author's website.

When Gravity Fails

Marîd Audran Series: Book 1

George Alec Effinger

In a decadent world of cheap pleasures and easy death, Marid Audrian has kept his independence the hardway. Still, like everything else in the Budayeen, he's available... for a price.

For a new kind of killer roams the streets of the Arab ghetto, a madman whose bootlegged personality cartridges range from a sinister James Bond to a sadistic disemboweler named Khan. And Marid Audrian has been made an offer he can't refuse.

The 200-year-old "godfather" of the Budayeen's underworld has enlisted Marid as his instrument of vengeance. But first Marid must undergo the most sophisticated of surgical implants before he dares to confront a killer who carries the power of every psychopath since the beginning of time.

A Fire in the Sun

Marîd Audran Series: Book 2

George Alec Effinger

Marid Audran has become everything he once despised. Not so long ago, he was a hustler in the Budayeen, an Arabian ghetto in a Balkanized future Earth.

Back then, as often as not, he didn’t have the money to buy himself a drink. But he had his independence.

Now Marid works for Friedlander Bey, "godfather" of the Budayeen, a man whose power stretches across a shattered, crumbling world. During the day, Marid is a policeman…and Bey’s personal envoy to the police. His new position has brought him money and power which he would abandon in a moment if he could return to a life of neither owning nor being owned. Which, unfortunately, isn’t one of his options.

It’s also not an issue. For something dark is afoot. Something that is sending the city into chaos. Helping a child-mutilator to avoid arrest. Sending a killer to murder Marid’s partner. Murdering prostitutes and savaging their remains. Signs point to the hand of Abu Adil—the one man in the city whose power rivals Friedlander Bey’s. Whatever happens next, it’s not going to be good news for Marid Audran…

The Exile Kiss

Marîd Audran Series: Book 3

George Alec Effinger

Marîd Audran has risen from hustling on the streets of the decadent Budayeen ghetto to being the right-hand man of one of the Maghreb’s most feared men. As an enforcer for the powerful Friedlander Bey, Marîd is just beginning to enjoy his newfound wealth and privilege, when he and Bey are betrayed by a rival and accused of murder.

Sentenced to exile and abandoned to die in the vast Arabian desert, Marîd and Bey must somehow survive the searing sands and make their way back to the now-hostile Budayeen—and, then, take their vengeance.

By turns thrilling and philosophical, The Exile Kiss is the culmination of one of the great works of modern SF.

William Gibson

Modern Masters of Science Fiction: Book 2

Gary Westfahl
William Gibson

The leading figure in the development of cyberpunk, William Gibson (born in 1948) crafted works in which isolated humans explored near-future worlds of ubiquitous and intrusive computer technology and cybernetics. This volume is the first comprehensive examination of the award-winning author of the seminal novel Neuromancer (and the other books in the Sprawl trilogy, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive), as well as other acclaimed novels including recent bestsellers Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History. Renowned scholar Gary Westfahl draws upon extensive research to provide a compelling account of Gibson's writing career and his lasting influence in the science fiction world.

Delving into numerous science fiction fanzines that the young Gibson contributed to and edited, Westfahl delivers new information about his childhood and adolescence. He describes for the first time more than eighty virtually unknown Gibson publications from his early years, including articles, reviews, poems, cartoons, letters, and a collaborative story. The book also documents the poems, articles, and introductions that Gibson has written for various books, and its discussions are enriched by illuminating comments from various print and online interviews. The works that made Gibson famous are also featured, as Westfahl performs extended analyses of Gibson's ten novels and nineteen short stories. Lastly, the book presents a new interview with Gibson in which the author discusses his correspondence with author Fritz Leiber, his relationship with the late scholar Susan Wood, his attitudes toward critics, his overall impact on the field of science fiction, and his recently completed screenplay and forthcoming novel.

The Bohr Maker

Nanotech Succession: Book 1

Linda Nagata

It is the most powerful technology known to humanity, microscopically small, allowing its user to control and change other's moods and emotions, and even to reprogram his or her own genetic structure. Its potential as the ultimate weapon or an instrument of peace has led to its ban by the Commonwealth.

Someone has stolen this outlaw technology, the Bohr Maker, from the secret files of the Commonwealth Police, at the command of a man with a genetic time bomb coded into his DNA. Nikko Jiang-Tibayan has only weeks to live, and he will do anything to stay only weeks to live, and he will do anything to stay alive, even if it means the end of life as we know it.

But then the Bohr Maker falls into the hands of a beautiful young woman in the poverty-stricken slums of Sunda. Its technology will make her both fugitive and messiah. The object of frantic searches by a walking dead man and a high-tech police force, the Maker holds the key to the total destruction of humanity -- or its miraculous rebirth....

Apex

Nexus 5: Book 3

Ramez Naam

Global unrest spreads as mass protests advance throughout the US and China, Nexus-upgraded riot police battle against upgraded protestors, and a once-dead scientist plans to take over the planet's electronic systems. The world has never experienced turmoil of this type, on this scale.They call them the Apex - humanity's replacement. They're smarter, faster, better. And infinitely more dangerous.

Humanity is dying. Long live the Apex.

Windswept

Occupied Space: Book 1

Adam Rakunas

Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she's supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She's only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out -- against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies.

As Padma should know by now, there are no easy shortcuts on her planet. And suddenly retirement seems farther away than ever: she's just stumbled into a secret corporate mission to stop a plant disease that could wipe out all the industrial sugarcane in Occupied Space. If she ever wants to have another drink of her favorite rum, she's going to have to fight her way through the city's warehouses, sewage plants, and up the elevator itself to stop this new plague.

Like a Boss

Occupied Space: Book 2

Adam Rakunas

In this breathless and hilarious followup to Windswept, former labor organiser Padma Mehta's worst nightmare comes true: she gets yanked out of early retirement.

After buying her favourite rum distillery and settling down, she thought she'd heard the last of her arch nemesis, Evanrute Saarien. But Saarien, fresh out of prison for his misdeeds in Windswept, has just fabricated a new religion, positioning himself as its holy leader. He's telling his congregation to go on strike, to fight the system. And unfortunately, they're listening to him.

Now Padma's summoned by the Union president to help stop this strike from happening. The problem is, she's out of practice. And, the more she digs, the more she realises this whole strike business is more complicated than the Union president let on...

City of Golden Shadow

Otherland: Book 1

Tad Williams

The first volume in this mesmerizing story takes readers to the near-future, when a global conspiracy threatens to sacrifice the Earth for the promise of a far more exclusive place--Otherland, a universe where any fantasy can be made real.

The Departure

Owner Series: Book 1

Neal Asher

Earth

An overpopulated world is under the brutal, high-tech thumb of the Committee. Towering robot shepherds, pain-inducers, and reader guns maintain control over masses of zero-asset citizens, but for the elite this not enough. Twelve billion must human beings must die before the Earth can be stabilized, and the Argus satellite laser network is almost ready.

Waking in a crate destined for an incinerator, Alan Saul remembers only pain and his torturer’s face. But he has company: Janus, a rogue AI inhabiting the forbidden hardware in his skull. Saul intends to stop Argus and get his revenge on the Committee–once he finds out who he used to be.

Mars

Abandoned by the Committee, the Antares Base faces extinction. The colonists there will not be returning to Earth nor will they be receiving any additional supplies or support. Unless they are very ingenious, they will run out of resources and be dead within five years.

As if that’s not dire enough, Varalia Delex finds herself caught in a violent power struggle with the base’s ruthless political officers–who see everyone else as expendable. As spilled blood turns the Red Planet even redder, Var discovers that Mars holds very new and interesting ways to die.

Shattered Minds

Pacifica: Book 2

Laura Lam

Johnny Mnemonic meets a female Dexter in Laura Lam's new speculative thriller, set in the near-future SF world of False Hearts

Carina used to be one of the best biohackers in Pacifica. But when she worked for Sudice and saw what the company's experiments on brain recording were doing to their subjects, it disturbed her--especially because she found herself enjoying giving pain and contemplating murder. She quit and soon grew addicted to the drug Zeal, spending most of her waking moments in a horror-filled dream world where she could act out her depraved fantasies without actually hurting anyone.

One of her trips is interrupted by strange flashing images and the brutal murder of a young girl. Even in her drug-addicted state, Carina knows it isn't anything she created in the Zealscape. On her next trip, she discovers that an old coworker from Sudice, Max, sent her these images before he was killed by the company. Encrypted within the images are the clues to his murder, plus information strong enough to take down the international corporation.

Carina's next choice will transform herself, San Francisco, and possibly the world itself.

Robocop

Robocop: Book 1

Ed Naha

Set in old Detroit, a crime-ridden ghetto of the not too distant future, a cop killed in the line of duty is robotized then dispatched to fight crime. But Robocop is haunted by memories and dreams of who and what he used to be. As he rediscovers his past, he uncovers a murder conspiracy at the highest level of police management.

Robocop 2

Robocop: Book 2

Ed Naha

Unknown to Robocop, the evil corporate empire which created him wants to take the city 'private,' and develop Robocop2, a newer, bigger, and more powerful version to replace the original.

William Gibson

Starmont Reader's Guide: Book 58

Lance Olsen
William Gibson

Lance Olsen's discerning critique was the first extended study ever published on the work of William Gibson, whose mindbending science fiction novel, Neuromancer (1984), created the subgenre of Cyberpunk, and became the first novel to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards for best SF novel of the year. Olsen covers Gibson's major early works, including Neuromancer, Burning Chrome, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive. Complete with bibliography, notes, and index.

Altered Carbon

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 1

Richard K. Morgan

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats "existence" as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning....

Broken Angels

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 2

Richard K. Morgan

Fifty years after the events of ALTERED CARBON, Takeshi Kovacs is serving as a mercenary in the Procterate-sponsored war to put down Joshuah Kemp's revolution on the planet Sanction IV. He is offered the chance to join a covert team chasing a prize whose value is limitless -- and whose dangers are endless.

Here is a novel that takes mankind to the brink. A breakneck-paced crime thriller, ALTERED CARBON took its readers deep into the universe Morgan had so compellingly realised without ever letting them escape the onward rush of the plot. BROKEN ANGELS melds SF, the war novel and the spy thriller to take the reader below the surface of this future and lay bare the treacheries, betrayals and follies that leave man so ill-prepared for the legacy he has been given: the stars. This is SF at its dizzying best: superb, yet subtle, world-building; strong yet sensitive characterisation; awesome yet believable technology, thilling yet profound writing. Richard Morgan is set to join the genre's world-wide elite.

Woken Furies

Takeshi Kovacs Series: Book 3

Richard K. Morgan

Takeshi Kovacs has come home. Home to Harlan's World. An ocean planet with only 5% of its landmass poking above the dangerous and unpredictable seas. Try and get above the weather in anything more sophisticated than a helicopter and the Martian orbital platforms will burn you out of the sky. And death doesn't just wait for you in the seas and the skies.

On land, from the tropical beaches and swamps of Kossuth to the icy, machine-infested wastes of New Hokkaido the hard won gains of the Quellist revolution have been lost. The First Families, the corporations and the Yakuza have a stranglehold on everything. Embarked on a journey of implacable retribution for a lost love, Kovacs is blown off course and into a maelstrom of political intrigue and technological mystery as the ghosts of Harlan's World and his own violent past rise to claim their due. Quellcrist Falconer is back from the dead, they say, and hunting her down for the First Families is a savage young Envoy called Kovacs who's been in storage.

TekWar

TekWar: Book 1

William Shatner
Ron Goulart

In this national bestseller, a private detective in twenty-second-century Los Angeles fights to destroy the synthetic high that nearly ruined him

Not satisfied with the thrills of being one of Greater Los Angeles' toughest cops, Jake Cardigan turns to Tek, a computerized brain stimulant which transports the user to any reality he can imagine. He's soon addicted to this fantasy-enabler--and it isn't long before Cardigan is accused of dealing. When he fails to convince the mechanized jury of his innocence, the state strips his badge and sentences him to fifteen years in suspended animation. Four years later he's awakened. His sentence has been changed, but no one will tell him why.

Cardigan's search for answers takes him to Mexico, where a rogue scientist is attempting to rid the world of Tek. But these efforts have roused powerful enemies. Aiding this quest is the right thing to do, but for an ex-con, doing good can be the most dangerous decision of all.

Pashazade: The First Arabesk

The Arabesk Trilogy: Book 1

Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Part mystery, part speculative fiction, and wholly unforgettable, Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s celebrated Arabesk series portrays the dark, hard-boiled story of a man out to prove his innocence in an alternate world where the facts aren’t always the same as the truth . . . and murder isn’t the worst that can happen.

It’s a twenty-first century hauntingly familiar–and yet startlingly different from our own. Here the United States brokered a deal that ended World War I, and the Ottoman Empire never collapsed. And lording it over all sits the complex, seductive, and bloodthirsty North African metropolis of El Iskandryia. Almost nothing is what it seems to be in El Isk, and Ashraf Bey is no exception.

Neither the rich Ottoman aristocrat everyone thinks he is, nor the minor street criminal once shipped off to prison when he fell foul of his Chinese Triad employers–the fact is that Raf has as little idea who he is as anyone else.

With few clues and no money, all Raf has is a surname hinting at noble heritage and an arranged marriage to a woman who hates him. But nothing Ashraf al Mansur learns about himself is as unexpected–or as terrifying–as the brutal murder he’s accused of committing. Now, as a hunted man with the welfare of a precocious young girl in his irresponsible hands, Raf must race after a killer through an unforgiving city as foreign to him as the truth he'll uncover about himself.

Effendi: The Second Arabesk

The Arabesk Trilogy: Book 2

Jon Courtenay Grimwood

In a slightly different 21st century where the Ottoman Empire never fell Ashraf Bey is the head of detectives in the vibrant city of El Iskandryia, the double dealing hear of the Empire. Raf must investigate a series of brutal murders linked to the mysterious and alluring daughter of an Industrialist who stnads accused himself of a series of ghastly crimes. At once predicatable and shockingly new the world of the Arabesk novels is one of the great creations of modern SF and with Islam so much in the news it is a creation that is never more relevant.

Felaheen: The Third Arabesk

The Arabesk Trilogy: Book 3

Jon Courtenay Grimwood

In a world where secrets kill, an ex-cop discovers he's got the biggest secret of all....

Set in a 21st-century Ottoman Empire, Jon Courtenay Grimwood's acclaimed Arabesk series is a noir action-thriller with an exotic twist. Here an ex-cop with nothing to lose finds himself on the trail of a man he doesn't believe in: his father.

Ashraf Bey has been a lot of things–and most of them illegal. Now, having resigned as El Iskandryia's Chief of Detectives, he's taking stock of his life and there's not much: a mistress he's never made love to, a niece everyone thinks is mentally incompetent, and a credit card bill rising towards infinity. With a revolt breaking out across North Africa, the world seems to be racing Raf straight to hell. The last thing he needs is a father he's never known. But when the old Emir's security chief requests that Raf come out of retirement to investigate an assassination attempt on His Excellency, that's exactly what Raf gets. Now, disguised as an itinerant laborer, Raf goes underground to discover a man–and a past–he never knew…and won't survive again.

Pattern Recognition

The Blue Ant Trilogy: Book 1

William Gibson

Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled and her computer hacked, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.

Still, Cayce is her father's daughter, and the danger makes her stubborn. Win Pollard, ex-security expert, probably ex-CIA, took a taxi in the direction of the World Trade Center on September 11 one year ago, and is presumed dead. Win taught Cayce a bit about the way agents work. She is still numb at his loss, and, as much for him as for any other reason, she refuses to give up this newly weird job, which will take her to Tokyo and on to Russia. With help and betrayal from equally unlikely quarters, Cayce will follow the trail of the mysterious film to its source, and in the process will learn something about her father's life and death.

Spook Country

The Blue Ant Trilogy: Book 2

William Gibson

Hollis Henry is a journalist on investigative assignment for a magazine called Node, which doesnt exist yet. Bobby Chombo is a producer working on cutting-edge art installations. In his day job, Bobby is a trouble-shooter for military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one.

Hollis Henry has been told to find him.

Virtual Light

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 1

William Gibson

2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...

Idoru

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 2

William Gibson

In twenty-first century Tokyo, Rez, one of the world's biggest rock stars, prepares to marry Rei Toe, Japan's biggest media star, who is known as the Idoru and who exists only in virtual reality.

All Tomorrow's Parties

The Bridge Trilogy: Book 3

William Gibson

Rydell is on his way back to near-future San Francisco. A stint as a security man in an all-night Los Angeles convenience store has convinced him his career is going nowhere, but his friend Laney, phoning from Tokyo, says there's more interesting work for him in Northern California. And there is, although it will eventually involve his former girlfriend, a Taoist assassin, the secrets Laney has been hacking out of the depths of DatAmerica, the CEO of the PR firm that secretly runs the world and the apocalyptic technological transformation of, well, everything. William Gibson's new novel, set in the soon-to-be-fact world of "Virtual Light" and "Idoru", completes a stunning, brilliantly imagined trilogy about the post-Net world.

Edge of Dark

The Glittering Edge: Book 1

Brenda Cooper

What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system, destined to sip only dregs of light and struggle for the barest living. And yet, that life thrived? It grew and learned and became far more than you ever expected, and it wanted to return to the sun. What if it didn't share your moral compass in any way?

The Glittering Edge duology describes the clash of forces when an advanced society that has filled a solar system with flesh and blood life meets the near-AI's that it banished long ago. This is a story of love for the wild and natural life on a colony planet, complex adventure set in powerful space stations, and the desire to live completely whether you are made of flesh and bone or silicon and carbon fiber.

In Edge of Dark, meet ranger Charlie Windar and his adopted wild predator, and explore their home on a planet that has been raped and restored more than once. Meet Nona Hall, child of power and privilege from the greatest station in the system, the Diamond Deep. Meet Nona's best friend, a young woman named Chrystal who awakens in a robotic body....

Spear of Light

The Glittering Edge: Book 2

Brenda Cooper

When the post-human Next suddenly re-appear in a solar system that banished them, humans are threatened. Their reactions vary from disgust and anger to yearning to live forever like the powerful Next, who are casually building a new city out of starships in the heart of the re-wilded planet Lym. The first families of Lym must deal with being invaded while they grapple with their own inner fears.

Ranger Charlie Windar is desperate to save his beloved planet. The Next are building strange cities he never imagined, and other humans who want to destroy the Next are his worst enemies.

Ambassador Nona Hall strives to forge links between the powerful station she's from, The Diamond Deep, and the people of Lym. The formidable merchant Gunnar Ellensson appears to be up to no good, and as usual his motivations are suspect. Why is he sending ships to Lym, and what does he intend to do with them when he arrives?

The Shining Revolution threatens to undo everything by attacking the Next on Lym, and their desire to eradicate the post-humans is greater than their desire to save humanity's home. It is entirely possible that they will draw the wrath of the Next onto all of humanity.

In the meantime, the Next's motives remain inscrutable. Why are they here at all? What do they want? Why are they interested in the ancient past of a planet that has been ravaged and rebuilt at least once?

The Causal Angel

The Quantum Thief Trilogy: Book 3

Hannu Rajaniemi

With his infectious love of storytelling in all its forms, his rich characterization and his unrivaled grasp of thrillingly bizarre cutting-edge science, Hannu Rajaniemi swiftly set a new benchmark for Science Fiction in the 21st century. Now, with his third novel, he completes the tale of the many lives, and minds, of gentleman rogue Jean de Flambeur.

Influenced as much by the fin de siècle novels of Maurice leBlanc as he is by the greats of SF, Rajaniemi weaves intricate, warm capers through dazzling science, extraordinary visions of a wild future,and deep conjectures on the nature of reality and story.

In The Causal Angel we will discover the ultimate fates of Jean, his employer Miele, the independently minded ship Perhonnen, and the rest of a fractured and diverse humanity flung throughout the solar system.

Neuromancer

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 1

William Gibson

The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus - hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace...

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Hotwired to the leading edges of art and technology, Neuromancer ranks with 1984 and Brave New World as one of the century's most potent visions of the future.

Count Zero

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 2

William Gibson

A corporate mercenary wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him, for a mission more dangerous than the one he's recovering from: to get a defecting chief of R&D-and the biochip he's perfected-out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties-some of whom aren't remotely human.

Mona Lisa Overdrive

The Sprawl Trilogy: Book 3

William Gibson

William Gibson, author of the extraordinary multiaward-winning novel Neuromancer, has written his most brilliant and thrilling work to date... The Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Enter Gibson's unique world--lyric and mechanical, erotic and violent, sobering and exciting--where multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated universe known as cyberspace.

Into this world comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell.

Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer.

Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled... or even known.

And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes... or so they think.

Tor Double #7: Screwtop / The Girl Who Was Plugged In

Tor Double: Book 7

Vonda N. McIntyre
James Tiptree, Jr.

Screwtop:

In an alien prison, friends are the only chance you have to survive!

The Girl Who Was Plugged In:

The story takes place in the future, where almost everything is controlled by corporate interests, who control consumers through the celebrities they set up, and product placement. The protagonist, seventeen-year-old Philadelphia Burke is enlisted to become one of these celebrities. A suicide attempt lands her in a hospital where she comes to the attention of corporate scouts and is chosen to become a "Remote". A series of modifications and electronic implants allow her to use a sophisticated computer to control another body by remote control; a physically perfect fifteen-year-old girl. It is controlled through a satellite link by P. Burke's brain, which is still physically located in her original body.

Vurt

Vurt: Book 1

Jeff Noon

Take a trip in a stranger's head. Along rainshot streets with the stash riders, a posse of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine ...Vurt feathers ...But as the Game Cat says, Be careful, be very careful. This ride is not for the weak ...Scribble isn't listening. He has to find his lost love. A journey towards the ultimate, perhaps even mythical, Vurt Feather ...Curious Yellow.

Software

Ware: Book 1

Rudy Rucker

It was Cobb Anderson who built the"boppers"--the first robots with real brains. Now, in 2020, Cobb is just another aged "pheezer" with a bad heart, drinking and grooving an the old tunes in Florida retirement hell. His "bops" have came a long way, though, rebelling against their subjugation to set up their own society an the moon. And now they're offering creator Cobb immortality but at a stiff price: his body his soul... and his world.

Zer0es

Zer0es: Book 1

Chuck Wendig

An exhilarating thrill-ride through the underbelly of cyber espionage in the vein of David Ignatius's The Director and the television series Leverage, CSI: Cyber, and Person of Interest, which follows five iconoclastic hackers who are coerced into serving the U.S. government.

An Anonymous-style rabble rouser, an Arab spring hactivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll are each offered a choice: go to prison or help protect the United States, putting their brains and skills to work for the government for one year.

But being a white-hat doesn't always mean you work for the good guys. The would-be cyberspies discover that behind the scenes lurks a sinister NSA program, an artificial intelligence code-named Typhon, that has origins and an evolution both dangerous and disturbing. And if it's not brought down, will soon be uncontrollable.

Can the hackers escape their federal watchers and confront Typhon and its mysterious creator? And what does the government really want them to do? If they decide to turn the tables, will their own secrets be exposed--and their lives erased like lines of bad code?

Combining the scientific-based, propulsive narrative style of Michael Crichton with the eerie atmosphere and conspiracy themes of The X-Files and the imaginative, speculative edge of Neal Stephenson and William Gibson, Zer0es explores our deep-seated fears about government surveillance and hacking in an inventive fast-paced novel sure to earn Chuck Wendig the widespread acclaim he deserves.